BBC bans used to be so much simpler. "Death, drugs, sex and swearing" were the four no-nos when Mike Read was a Radio 1 DJ. The Small Faces' Here Come the Nice, a tribute to their dealer, featured the rather unambiguous line "he's always there when I need some speed", yet somehow evaded the censors. The Smoke's My Friend Jack, Read recalls, wasn't so fortunate. "The chorus was 'My friend Jack eats sugarlumps' and the band tried to cover it up by pretending it was about a horse. People didn't recognise the terminology on Here Comes the Nice, but there was an awareness of lysergic acid. People knew those sugar lumps were not Tate & Lyle's."
Lou Reed's Walk on the Wild Side was a single of the week on David Hamilton's afternoon show in 1973, in spite of it mentioning "giving head". Years later, Mike Read played it on Radio 1 once and was told: "We don't play that record any more." "'Why not?' I asked. Mr Naive! I had to go and ask somebody. I mean, I knew about the action, but I hadn't heard anyone use that phrase."